Last week, Hallmark‘s “Moments and Milestones” 2012 six-city tour came to San Francisco. Along with other local bloggers, I was able to get a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at what goes on in Hallmark’s creative department.
The program started off with a little treat for the bloggers in attendance. Using previously submitted photos and quotes, the Hallmark team compiled it into a touching video collage. After that, we had a chance to see Hallmark’s “Tell Them” commercial. If you haven’t seen the latest one yet, you need to – it’s such a tear-jerker! Three representatives from Hallmark shared their heartfelt stories in person while several other Hallmark writers candidly told about their most precious moments via video. It was clear how deeply these people must dig inside themselves to come up with powerful messages which others can relate to. Their raw emotions rubbed off on all present.
We were given an assignment – think of an important man in your life (father, husband, friend) and write something you NEED to tell them. Later we went around the tables and explained what we wrote and why. There was not a dry eye in the room as each blogger shared their messages for their loved ones, including ones lost in death. Even those who didn’t think they’d be affected were, including me.
Lisa Riggin (writing director) continued to emphasize, “Say it NOW…because you don’t know when you can’t tell them.”
Molly Wigand (writer) keeps every card she has gotten from persons important to her.
Tom Shay-Zapien (writer) shares that it’s such a privilege to be invited into people’s lives to share in their special moments.
Then came the fun part. Through a series of writing exercises, we had to turn our creativity into words – that was hard! At one point we broke into three groups and sat down with one of the three Hallmark writers. We were then given a stock photo and had to come up with some catchy phrase or dialogue. Based on what our group came up with, let’s just say you should be happy that WE aren’t the ones writing cards for public distribution. I have a newfound respect for the cards I see in the store!
The conversation was rounded out by reviewing some of the current items Hallmark product. This includes the growing library of recordable and interactive storybooks (Lisa Riggin is the author of ‘Abigail’ while Tom Shay-Zapien wrote the ‘Jingle’ books).
The main thing I took away from this event was the fact that there are real people behind the printed text in Hallmark cards. They’re people like us, wanting to connect with the ones they love. So don’t put off telling your loved ones what they need to hear today – what an amazing sentiment to remember and live by!